The World Bank says investing in the education of adolescent girls will help the country to diffuse its looming demographic time bomb.
According to the bank, “investing in educating adolescent girls to defuse Nigeria’s demographic time bomb”.
The 2022 edition of its “Nigeria Development Update: The Continuing Urgency of Business Unusual”, said the country has been slow in transitioning to a stage where the share of those working outnumber young and old dependents.
“As the country enters a period of rapid expansion of the working-age population, there is an opportunity to benefit from this “demographic dividend” and the increase in labor supply that can boost economic growth.
“However, Nigeria’s persistently high fertility rates (especially in the northern regions) among adolescent girls, the poor, and those with low education threaten to derail the demographic transition.
“Poverty, low prevalence and demand for modern contraception, and lack of quality secondary schools and job market opportunities contribute to high teenage pregnancy rates, early marriage, and low educational attainment among Nigeria’s adolescent girls.
“To reap the demographic dividend, Nigeria must kickstart the stalled demographic transition and ensure that today’s children have the means to grow into healthy and productive adults,” the bank said.
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